The world of the X-Men presents a plethora of conflicts. Humanity against mutantkind. Prejudice versus acceptance. Diversity over synergy. There’s a lot of similarity with how businesses combine social media and traditional advertising as a tool to work to their advantage.

As companies and consumers enter the age of social business, we’re afraid to ask: can social media and traditional advertising really work in synergy?

In the X-Men mythos, Charles Xavier and Magneto were good friends, but their contrasting ideologies pave the way for different paths. Xavier wanted to both humans and mutants to live harmoniously without shrapnel of prejudice to cut diplomatic ties. On the other hand, Magneto believes that the homo superior should rule over humans. This conflict is quite the same with the debate if social media and advertising can jive together. Ad men think social media is just a trend and will not replace ads. Internet marketers are quick to emphasize that social media is the new standard in marketing and brand awareness. There’s a conflict, but both parties only want one thing – ROI.

With social media platforms on the rise, businesses have found a practical yet cheap means to market their products. It’s no secret that any company can easily make a Facebook fan page or Twitter account to establish a web presence. Aside from that, social tools are free, which are very beneficial to local businesses and start-ups. Users favor companies that put a premium on user engagement and community management. Advertising doesn’t offer that, it’s been branded as a pure salesman approach and only presents a one-way message. No customer interaction at all.

Social media is a winner alright. But big companies still use advertising to market their brand. Why? Digital marketing agencies think advertising and social media can blend together. Keep in mind that social platforms are only tools, and without a pinch of creativity, customers won’t even pay attention. Consider a piece of crayon as a tool. A crayon won’t color a coloring book by itself. The only flaw that a perfect tool has is the user.

So, does social media and traditional advertising work in synergy? Social media is a tool. Advertising begets creativity. They both can complement each other. No contest. All are winners.